Philippines Attractions: Top Places to Visit and Things to Do

The Philippines is located in Southeast Asia, boasting a diverse range of attractions. From pristine beaches to historical landmarks, there is something for everyone in this tropical paradise. The country comprises over 7,000 islands, each with unique charm and beauty.

One of the most popular attractions in the Philippines is its beaches. The country is known for its crystal-clear waters, white sand beaches, and vibrant marine life. Some of the most famous beaches include Boracay, El Nido, and Siargao. These beaches offer a range of activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and surfing. The Philippines is also home to some of the world’s most beautiful coral reefs, making it a popular destination for divers and marine enthusiasts.

Aside from its beaches, the Philippines is rich in history and culture. The country has a long and complex history, with influences from Spain, the United States, and Southeast Asia. Some popular historical landmarks include the Intramuros in Manila, the Chocolate Hills in Bohol, and the Banaue Rice Terraces in Ifugao. These landmarks offer visitors a glimpse into the country’s past and its unique blend of cultures.

History and Culture

The Philippines has a rich history and culture, influenced by various civilizations that have settled there over the centuries. From the pre-colonial period to the Spanish and American colonization, the Philippines has a diverse and fascinating history reflected in its architecture, art, and traditions.

Manila’s Intramuros

One of the best places to explore the country’s history is in Manila’s Intramuros, a walled city that dates back to the Spanish colonial period. Visitors can walk along the cobblestone streets and admire the well-preserved buildings and fortifications that were built during the 16th century. Some of the highlights of Intramuros include the San Agustin Church, Fort Santiago, and Casa Manila. This museum showcases the lifestyle of the upper class during the Spanish colonial period.

San Agustin Church

San Agustin Church is one of the oldest stone churches in the Philippines, built in the late 16th century. The church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered a masterpiece of Baroque architecture in the country. The church’s interior is adorned with intricate carvings and paintings, including a ceiling fresco that depicts the world’s creation.

Fort Santiago

Fort Santiago is a military fortress built by the Spanish conquistador, Miguel López de Legazpi, in the late 16th century. The fort played a significant role in the country’s history, serving as a defense against foreign invaders and a prison for political prisoners during the Spanish colonial period. Today, visitors can explore the fort and learn about its history through the various exhibits and displays.


Vigan is a city in the northern part of the Philippines declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is known for its well-preserved Spanish colonial architecture, including the ancestral houses that line the cobblestone streets. Visitors can take a horse-drawn carriage tour of the city and admire the unique blend of Spanish and Asian architecture.

Rizal Park

Rizal Park is a public park in the heart of Manila, named after the country’s national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. The park is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, offering a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. Visitors can enjoy a picnic on the grass, stroll around the gardens, or visit the various monuments and statues that pay tribute to the country’s history.

Quiapo Church

Quiapo Church is a Catholic church located in the heart of Manila, known for its vibrant and colorful façade. The church is dedicated to the Black Nazarene, a statue of Jesus Christ that is believed to have miraculous powers. The church is a popular destination for devotees who come to pray and offer their petitions to the Black Nazarene.

The Philippines has a rich history and culture reflected in its architecture, art, and traditions. Visitors can explore the country’s history through its various historical sites and landmarks, and gain a deeper appreciation for its diverse and fascinating past.

Natural Attractions

The Philippines is home to a diverse range of natural attractions that draw tourists worldwide. From stunning rice terraces to majestic volcanoes, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Here are some of the top natural attractions in the Philippines:

Chocolate Hills

The Chocolate Hills are a unique geological formation in the Bohol province of the Philippines. These hills are made up of over 1,000 cone-shaped hills that are covered in grass. During the dry season, the grass turns brown, making the hills chocolate-like. The Chocolate Hills are a popular tourist destination and have been declared a National Geological Monument.

Rice Terraces

The rice terraces in the Philippines are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and are considered one of the most beautiful agricultural landscapes in the world. The Ifugao people carved these terraces into the mountains over 2,000 years ago. The terraces are still used today for rice cultivation and are a testament to the ingenuity and hard work of the Ifugao people.

Mayon Volcano

Mayon Volcano is an active volcano located in the Bicol Region of the Philippines. It is known for its perfectly symmetrical cone shape and is considered one of the most active volcanoes in the country. Despite its reputation for being dangerous, Mayon Volcano is a popular tourist destination and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

Hundred Islands National Park

Hundred Islands National Park is located in the province of Pangasinan and comprises 124 small islands. The islands are known for their pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and diverse marine life. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities, including island hopping, snorkeling, and scuba diving.

The Philippines also has several other natural attractions, including national parks and other UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Whether you’re interested in exploring volcanoes, admiring stunning landscapes, or simply soaking up the sun on a beautiful beach, there is something for everyone to enjoy in the Philippines.

Beaches and Islands

The Philippines is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and islands. The country has everything from white sand beaches to crystal clear waters. Here are some of the top beaches and islands to visit in the Philippines.

Boracay’s White Beach

Boracay’s White Beach is one of the most famous beaches in the Philippines. Known for its powdery white sand and turquoise waters, it has been named one of the best beaches in the world by various travel publications. Visitors can enjoy various water activities, such as snorkeling, diving, and parasailing, or simply relax on the beach and soak up the sun.

Palawan’s El Nido

Palawan’s El Nido is a cluster of 45 islands and islets, each with unique beauty. It is known for its towering limestone cliffs, hidden lagoons, and clear blue waters. Visitors can explore the islands by boat, kayak, or paddleboard, and discover hidden beaches and coves. El Nido is also a popular spot for diving and snorkeling, with vibrant coral reefs and a diverse marine life.

Siargao Island

Siargao Island is a surfer’s paradise, with some of the best waves in the Philippines. It is also known for its laid-back vibe and stunning natural scenery. Visitors can explore the island’s mangrove forests, lagoons, and rock pools, or simply relax on its white sand beaches. Siargao is also home to the famous Cloud 9 surf break, which attracts surfers worldwide.

Coron Island

Coron Island is a popular destination for diving and snorkeling, with numerous shipwrecks and coral gardens to explore. It is also known for its stunning lagoons, such as Kayangan Lake and Twin Lagoon, which offer crystal clear waters and breathtaking views. Visitors can also hike to the top of Mount Tapyas for panoramic views of the island.

Nacpan Beach

Nacpan Beach is a hidden gem located in the northern part of Palawan. It is a long stretch of white sand beach with clear blue waters, perfect for swimming and sunbathing. Visitors can also hike to the nearby Nagkalit-Kalit Falls, which offer a refreshing break from the heat.

Overall, the Philippines is a paradise for beach and island lovers, with countless destinations to explore and discover. Whether you are looking for adventure or relaxation, there is something for everyone in this tropical paradise.

Adventures and Activities

The Philippines is a perfect destination for adventure enthusiasts. With its diverse natural attractions, the country offers a wide range of tourist activities. Whether you are interested in water sports, hiking, or countryside tours, the Philippines has something for everyone.

Snorkeling in Tubbataha Reef

Tubbataha Reef is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Sulu Sea. It is considered one of the best snorkeling spots in the world due to its crystal-clear waters and diverse marine life. Snorkelers can expect to see over 600 species of fish and 360 species of coral in this protected area. The best time to visit Tubbataha Reef is from mid-March to mid-June when the waters are calm and visibility is at its best.

Diving in Malapascua Island

Malapascua Island is a small island located off the northern coast of Cebu. It is famous for its thresher shark sightings, regularly seen at Monad Shoal. Divers can also explore other dive sites around the island, such as Gato Island, Kemod Shoal, and Chocolate Island. The best time to visit Malapascua Island for diving is from December to May when the waters are calm.

Countryside Tour in Bohol

Boat trips on the Loboc river

Bohol is a province in the Central Visayas region known for its scenic countryside. A countryside tour in Bohol typically includes visiting the Chocolate Hills, a geological formation of over 1,200 hills that turn brown during the dry season, and the Tarsier Sanctuary, a conservation area for the world’s smallest primate. Other attractions include the Loboc River Cruise, the Baclayon Church, and the Blood Compact Shrine.

Hiking in Luzon

Luzon is the largest island in the Philippines and offers a variety of hiking trails for adventure seekers. One of the most popular hikes is the Mount Pinatubo trek, which takes you to the crater lake of an active volcano. Other popular hikes include the Mount Pulag climb, which is the highest peak in Luzon and offers stunning views of the sunrise, and the Taal Volcano trek, which takes you to an island within a lake within an island.

In conclusion, the Philippines is a haven for adventure enthusiasts. The country offers a wide range of tourist activities, from snorkeling in Tubbataha Reef to hiking in Luzon. Whether you are an experienced adventurer or a first-time traveler, the Philippines has something for everyone.

Food and Dining

Metro Manila Dining

Metro Manila is a bustling city with a vibrant food scene. From street food to high-end restaurants, there is something for everyone. Some of the best restaurants in the city include:

  • Toyo Eatery – known for its modern take on Filipino cuisine s
  • Gallery by Chele – offers a fine dining experience with a focus on local ingredients
  • Sarsa Kitchen + Bar – serves Filipino comfort food with a twist
  • Café Juanita – offers a cozy ambiance and serves Filipino comfort food

Cebu Restaurants

Cebu is a food lover’s paradise. It is known for its lechon (roasted pig) and seafood. Some of the best restaurants in Cebu include:

  • Zubuchon – serves the best lechon in the city
  • Lantaw Native Restaurant – offers a stunning view of the city and serves fresh seafood
  • Casa Verde – known for its massive servings of comfort food
  • Abaca Baking Company – offers freshly baked bread and pastries

Bacolod Cuisine

Bacolod is known as the “City of Smiles” and is famous for its chicken inasal. Some of the best restaurants in Bacolod include:

  • Aida’s Chicken – serves the best chicken inasal in the city
  • Manokan Country – offers a variety of grilled chicken and seafood
  • Pendy’s – serves delicious Filipino comfort food
  • Calea – offers a wide selection of cakes and pastries

The Philippines offers a diverse culinary experience focusing on fresh ingredients and bold flavors. Whether you’re in Metro Manila, Cebu, or Bacolod, there is always something delicious to try.

Accommodation and Transportation

Staying in Makati

Makati is one of the most popular places to stay in the Philippines. It is the country’s financial center and has many high-end hotels and accommodations. Top-rated hotels in Makati include the Raffles Makati, the Fairmont Makati, and the Peninsula Manila. These hotels offer luxurious amenities and services.

For those on a budget, Makati has many affordable accommodations. Hostels and guesthouses are popular options for backpackers and budget travelers. Some top-rated budget accommodations in Makati include the Junction Hostels, the Our Melting Pot Hostel, and the Makati Apartelle.

Getting Around the Philippines

The Philippines is a large country with many different islands, so getting around can be challenging. However, there are many transportation options available for travelers. The most popular modes of transportation in the Philippines include buses, taxis, and tricycles.

For longer journeys, buses are the most common mode of transportation. Many bus companies operate nationwide, including Victory Liner, Philtranco, and Genesis Transport. These buses are usually air-conditioned and comfortable, making them popular for travelers.

Taxis are also a popular mode of transportation in the Philippines, especially in the larger cities. However, it is important to ensure the taxi is metered and the driver uses it. Negotiating the fare before getting in the taxi is also a good idea.


Jeepneys are a unique mode of transportation in the Philippines. They are essentially converted jeeps that are used as public transportation. Jeepneys are a cheap and convenient way to get around, but they can be crowded and uncomfortable.

Jeepneys are usually painted bright colors and decorated with stickers and other decorations. They are a popular mode of transportation for locals and tourists alike. However, it is important to be aware of pickpockets and to keep an eye on your belongings while riding in a jeepney.

Overall, there are many different transportation options available in the Philippines. Whether you are looking for luxury accommodations or budget-friendly options, there is something for everyone.